Jump to Navigation

Racine Family Law Blog

How is child support determined in Wisconsin?

The end of a marriage may carry with it many consequences. Emotions are often on edge and it is usually a difficult time for everyone involved. In Wisconsin, the social implications and the financial impact of a divorce can have far-reaching effects as well. Property division and spousal support may be among the major matters of concern in a divorce proceeding, but for couples with children, seeking a divorce can bring the additional legal complications posed by child custody and child support issues.

Generally speaking, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent who has physical custody of the child and the amount is determined by what is in the best interests of the child. The support must generally be sufficient to take care of the child's medical needs and every day expenses.

What are the basic steps for getting a divorce in Wisconsin?

Each county in Wisconsin may have slightly different procedures or different names for various hearings in a divorce proceeding, but the fundamental structure for the process of a legal separation or divorce remains the same. There are a few essential things to put on a checklist and pay keen attention to before and during the divorce proceedings.

A decision needs to be made about how a couple parting ways wants to file for a divorce or a legal separation. It needs to be decided if a couple will file jointly or separately. Also, a temporary hearing before the Family Court may be requested if a couple cannot agree on certain issues, such as child custody, the use of automobiles, payment of bills, child placement, child support, spousal support, use of family residences or use of personal property, among other things.

Terrence Howard ordered to pay $325,000 as alimony

Divorce is a complicated situation in general and there are many different aspects of a divorce that affect the people involved. Alimony is a major part of a divorce and many divorces in Wisconsin involve alimony. Spousal support is taken very seriously by courts today. However, the amount of spousal maintenance depends entirely on the income of the paying spouse.

In a recent case of celebrity divorce, actor Terrence Howard has been asked to pay $325,000 in spousal maintenance to his ex wife, Michelle Ghent. The actor however, has stated that he earns only about $6,000 per month and therefore is incapable of paying the amount ordered. The actor who is in his mid forties has appeared in several successful films. He has said that he is not receiving any of the money he is said to be earning from his acting career.

Man faces felony charges for not paying child support

Family courts in Wisconsin treat child support matters seriously, much like the rest of America. Child support is very important to the successful upbringing of a child affected by divorce. When parents separate, a child's whole world is shaken emotionally along with a sense of financial insecurity creeping in.

Every child has financial needs. Every day expenses, educational expenses, extracurricular needs, medical expenses and other financial needs are common for any child. Courts are very strict when dealing with cases of failure to pay child support, so much so that often penalties are imposed in such cases.

Divorce and Financial Planning

Unfortunately, there are as many divorces in Wisconsin as in the rest of the United States. A divorce is a shattering event in an individual's life. Being one of the more challenging and tough experiences that a person faces in life, divorces almost always leave people emotionally exhausted. However, even through all of the emotional turmoil, individuals going through the process of separation must remember to prioritize their finances.

Property division forms the most important aspect of a divorce proceeding. This is where the assets once jointly owned by the couple are split and distributed between the two parties equitably. While the divorce is ongoing, estate planning must also be kept in mind and it is important for the ex-spouses to update the beneficiaries of their life insurance policies and other retirement accounts. If this is not done, it's possible that an ex-spouse may inherit the majority of these assets. A new will or a new trust can be created in order to avoid this problem.

Using prenuptial agreements to equally distribute marital assets

Property division matters occupy the front seat in any divorce proceeding. Divorces are plentiful in Wisconsin and keep Racine divorce attorneys and financial advisors busy solving the various issues of marital property division.

Marital property division could be very complex or reasonably simple, or anywhere in between. Every professional in the field, a financial advisor, an attorney or a judge, strives towards one objective-a fair and equitable division of marital property for those divorcing. Individuals filing for a legal separation also need property division to be first and foremost on the list of things to be achieved prior to the process of divorce.

Wisconsin same-sex couples face legal adoption issues

Child custody is a major concern for Wisconsin couples and gay couples are no exception. Same-sex couples cherish the dream of parenthood and want their children to enjoy the same rights as children of heterosexual couples. Always thinking of the best interests of the child, same-sex couples have made a fervent appeal to the state to recognize their marriages and make their adoptions legal so that there are no issues regarding child custody later on.

In Wisconsin, one same-sex couple has made an appeal to the state that both parents be given equal rights as far as their children are concerned. A law school teacher believes that same-sex families should hold the same legal protections as families with hetero-sexual parents enjoy.

J-Lo and former husband finally sign divorce decree

Many Wisconsin marriages between everyday residents end in divorce. It seems that celebrity marriages are no exception to this rule. Celebrity singer Marc Anthony's break up with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez has finally legally ended after three years of separation. The celebrity couple agreed to share joint custody of their six -year old twins.

According to the divorce filing, Lopez will have the major share of custody time with the couple's daughter and son while Anthony will enjoy the companionship of the children for a week each month. No spousal or child support will be paid by either party because it was deemed unnecessary. The divorce, in many ways, has been rather amicable. The couple also agreed that the children need to be protected from public scrutiny and gossip.

More and more fathers want child custody

Child custody remains a major concern for Wisconsin couples who want to divorce. Even when both parents are eager to do what is best for their children, their ideas about parenting often differ. Although fathers may find themselves in a tight spot as far as child custody issues are concerned, the scenario is changing.

Law firms are championing the cause of fathers who take on an empowered role as dads. Hence, many legislatures are revisiting old child custody laws because research has shown that fathers play an even more important role in the emotional and physical well-being of children than previously thought. Growing evidence shows that more fathers are willing to take up responsibility for their children, even after divorce. There is a reason for this: gender equality in the workplace, and more hands-on fathers on the home front. Hence, men are insisting that their wishes be respected in court. Take, for instance, the case of a 27-year old IT manager and father of three children. He feared that he would lose out on the child custody fight and would have no visitation rights. He subsequently hired a men's firm to help his cause.

Property division can invite tax liability after divorce

When a Racine, Wis., couple divorces, the process of marital property division is important and can be tax-sensitive. This task can be quite cumbersome with parties dividing all the money assets acquired during marriage and then negotiating property division, as well. This can be quite difficult if the former couple's property consists of a more than a home, household knickknacks, a car, and a bank account. Property division becomes even more difficult when assets are difficult to value, such as retirement accounts or stock options.

Wisconsin couples also need to know that if a retirement plan is split at the time of divorce, it can lead to tax complications later on. Often, IRAs and 401(k)s need special handling since their distribution will ultimately be taxable. In a recent incident, a court ruled that an ex-wife needs to pay tax on a distribution she had received from her former husband's 401(k) plan. During the time they were married, the man had participated in the organization's 401(k) plan.

FindLaw Network